The following is a post from Steve Firchow, the cover artist for our new novel, Papa Lucy & The Boneman, a transmedia project titled Days of Before & Now that will include a series of novels and a role-playing game.
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Its easy to hit the gas hard illustrating Jason Fischers book PapaLucy and the Boneman. The qualitiy of the writing is such that every sentence contains a mine of visual inspiration.
When I read the manuscript, I fell straight down the rabbit hole!
Jason is a fan of Bruce Pennington's apocalyptic visions as am I.
That commonality laid groundwork for how to approach not just the composition but also the surface texture and overall resonance.
Much of my concept work involves layering photo data into a painting to give the images a 'realistic' feel.
For the Boneman cover I decided to skip the photo process and just paint the crap out of it like I did in when I was in school!
I don't use a million different texture/stamp brushes, just 3-4 for variety and one scalable round brush.
For the city of Mawson and the Selectors Tower I made a 3d model and did some simple renders to help with the lighting.
As explained in the story, Mawson is an architectural hodgepodge. I combined elements of Romanesque, Islamic and Contemporary architecture with some Lebbeus Woods thrown in for good measure.
I didn't want the clean, mechanical surface of the 3d renders so I blasted down fast, textural paintwork as I think Bruce Pennington would have done.
The Boneman himself is an amazing and complex character. I did my best to capture his personality, especially the loneliness of someone passing through life with an extremely unconventional appearance.
Papa Lucy and the Boneman is a huge, wild story and is totally addictive. I am very proud of my association with it!
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You can preorder and find more about Papa Lucy and The Boneman over at its Outland webpage!